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Hello everyone,

As i'm getting more movements i was thinking about getting some proper cleaning machine. I don't have enough to afford a real one right now so i'm trying to find a way to make my own, i wanted to know if any of you did this kind of project to get some advices. 

For a mecanical version i found this kind of thing that could be turned into a cleaning machine without too much work : https://www.ebay.fr/itm/Ancienne-BARATTE-a-beurre-Annees-1950/283402672723?hash=item41fc1d9a53:g:vqUAAOSwvcFb-sLd:rk:1:pf:0

And for an electrical one i thought about some cheap kitchen robot.

I already have an ultrasonic cleaner but i heard from a watchmaker that it can damage the pivots if its touching metal so thats why i'm trying to make a machine  that is close to what a real one does.

If you guys have any informations on some homemades machines you know i would be happy to hear it !

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I have often wondered about laying one of my stereo speakers on its back , placing a large dish over the woofer,putting the cleaning solution and parts in a plastic jar and listening to Jethro Tull. 

Ultrasonic is the way to go. I use 5 small glass jars. Number them put cleaning solution in the first 2, and rinsing solution in the other 3. You can usually get small cleaning baskets from a supplier

Didn’t you know that is how Jethro Tull get there unique sound.  

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Agree with oldhippy keep an eye on eBay for either a used one or when they become available a "Janta" the basic one is around £500. I now use one of these and am getting excellent results. I purchased my one from Amazon. 

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I think that realistically, you could possibly make something from some suitable jars, a basket, and a sewing machine motor. It just depends on suitability of these parts. I wonder if Ikea sell something like a rice or coffee jar with a solid lid which  motor could be attached to.

Machines do turn up on eBay, but the cheaper ones are inevitably death traps which need work to make them properly safe.

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I have often wondered about laying one of my stereo speakers on its back , placing a large dish over the woofer,putting the cleaning solution and parts in a plastic jar and listening to Jethro Tull. 

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no doubt with "a time for everything" playing.  I saw them in Toronto, late 80's, great show.

 

as for the cleaner, I make a lot of tools but I try to make things are that are unique and can't be easily purchased as to get similar performance its usually hard to buy all bits and pieces for what a used one sells for.  Also, there are techniques to do it by hand in the interim until a good one comes along.

I agree on the damage ultrasonic can do, for example you're not suppose to ever put rolling element bearings in them as the action will damage the ball and race.  However I think its mitigated by technique:  work the worst of any built up crude off mechanically first, don't put assemblies in,don't leave stuff in for longer than is needed and protect parts from metal on metal rubbing by suspending them in plastic baggies or (much better) glass containers.

For example, put a part in a test tube by itself and hang from above.  the part won't bang around against other parts or a steel basket and you use only a small amount of cleaner in the test tube (the main well has just water in it).  Ultrasonic waves travel ok through thin plastic and very well through glass

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Well yeah as you guys said i saw some second hand machines on ebay but they are still a bit expensive for me at the moment, and since i don't know a lot about them i don't want to buy one that will need repairs or anything i don't have the ability to do. But i'll try to find little glass container to use in my ultrasonic cleaner, that sounds like a good option until i get the money to buy a big machine !

Thanks for the tips

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On ‎3‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 3:06 PM, plevieil said:

Hello everyone,

As i'm getting more movements i was thinking about getting some proper cleaning machine. I don't have enough to afford a real one right now so i'm trying to find a way to make my own, i wanted to know if any of you did this kind of project to get some advices. 

For a mecanical version i found this kind of thing that could be turned into a cleaning machine without too much work : https://www.ebay.fr/itm/Ancienne-BARATTE-a-beurre-Annees-1950/283402672723?hash=item41fc1d9a53:g:vqUAAOSwvcFb-sLd:rk:1:pf:0

And for an electrical one i thought about some cheap kitchen robot.

I already have an ultrasonic cleaner but i heard from a watchmaker that it can damage the pivots if its touching metal so thats why i'm trying to make a machine  that is close to what a real one does.

If you guys have any informations on some homemades machines you know i would be happy to hear it !

    the ultrasonic  could damage the pivots,  put them in a mesh basket suspended into cleaner,  vin

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Ultrasonic is the way to go. I use 5 small glass jars. Number them put cleaning solution in the first 2, and rinsing solution in the other 3.
You can usually get small cleaning baskets from a supplier or off the bay. Put all the loose parts in the baskets. Put the balance cock and balance wheel back on the main plate to protect the balance staff during the cleaning. And get a small desk top type space heater for drying.


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Ultrasonic power isn’t ever mentioned in threads about cleaning, but it’s really important.

 

At work we have an ultrasonic tank that will dissolve an aluminium cake cup in under a minute. It’s used for cleaning hydraulic machine parts that get pretty grimed. I’d not want to put watch parts in it for a second!

 

So it’s horses for courses. If you use a 35watt x 40khz ultrasonic bath and keep the times sensible then you will be ok with watch parts, but don’t expect it to clean carburettor bits. As I say, it’s horses for courses.

 

Ultrasonic cleaning machines have been used by watch repairers for years. Just be mindful of choosing one not too powerful.

 

 

 

 

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On 3/6/2019 at 6:27 PM, Deggsie said:

Ultrasonic power isn’t ever mentioned in threads about cleaning, but it’s really important.

 

At work we have an ultrasonic tank that will dissolve an aluminium cake cup in under a minute. It’s used for cleaning hydraulic machine parts that get pretty grimed. I’d not want to put watch parts in it for a second!

 

So it’s horses for courses. If you use a 35watt x 40khz ultrasonic bath and keep the times sensible then you will be ok with watch parts, but don’t expect it to clean carburettor bits. As I say, it’s horses for courses.

 

Ultrasonic cleaning machines have been used by watch repairers for years. Just be mindful of choosing one not too powerful.

 

 

 

 

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Do you know what the preferred frequency is for cleaning watch parts? 

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I use a cheap ultrasonic cleaner that you can find at harbor freight or on line. The kind that they sell for cleaning jewelry. They aren’t the most powerful thing out there. And you put about 2 inches of hot water in it during the cleaning.


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Im new to watch cleaning and i have a cheap ultrasonic cleaner in my phone repair lab that i use for cleaning motherboards. I am going to try it out on a couple of old movements i have. Because its a cheap one and doesn't have a sweeping ability, operators should be mindful of "hotspots" that accure within the tank due to the way the frequency travels through the cleaning solution. The best way to demonstrate hotspots, is to lay a peice of foil in the cleaner and watch holes start to appear in consintrated areas. To overcome this issue as some motherboard components are very delicate im my cheap ultrasonic, is to move the peice around in the solution constantly so that hotspots are not targeting specific areas for long periods of time.

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On 3/14/2019 at 12:33 AM, AP1875 said:

Do you know what the preferred frequency is for cleaning watch parts? 

Clockboy told about his one which features multifrequency and got several transducers, if I understood or remember right, use of several transducers notably impeoves machines performance.the price is high though.

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I've not committed to buying the bits yet but for £40 I'm tempted to have a go.  I wouldn't put the balance in, and I'd separate the parts into little baskets.  Maybe pad the bottom of the large basket out so that the parts were further away from the magnet?

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I don't know if using a ferrous basket would be able to act as a magnetic shield, something like a Faraday's cage, and prevent the parts from getting magnetized. 

Actually I was thinking of using the star shaped stirrer and fixing it to the bottom of the basket. This way, the entire basket would spin. That would be more like a conventional watch cleaning machine. 

Even if the parts do come out magnetized, putting it through a demagnetizer should be able to fix it, I think. :D

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Possibly not a bad idea on the cheap. If you are lucky then the metallic detritus will be attracted to the base, or to the paddle. If you are unlucky then it will magnetise the ferrous watch parts which will cause the metallic detritus to become attached to the watch parts.

 

Does it say how many RPM it can manage?

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I'm thinking that the parts may be likely to become magnetised.. there are magnet shielding metals - "mu-metal" I think - as used in some microphones and audio equipment. That shielding doesn't simply block all magnetism that could possibly be generated, but works relative to the parts and expected magnetic fields.

Having said that, demagnetising is a fairly standard procedure within watch servicing - so I'm curious to see how this topic develops.

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This may prove useful in terms of understanding their operation:

 

If you can get the parts basket enough distance away from the fixed magnet in the base then you may be able to make it usable.

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2 hours ago, AshF said:

@rodabod It says it has an adjustable stirring speed 100 - 3000rpm.

I'm going to give this a go.  I'll report back how things went.

 

Ok. I'll join you. But I'll probably get the one with the built in hotplate. That way, if it doesn't work I can use it to a cup of hot cocoa. :D

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